The Influence of Islam in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan
The collapse of the Soviet Union has raised the question of which paths of political development the newly independent Central Asian states will now choose. Until the sovietization of the twentieth century, which resulted in the penetration of the state into nearly every field of human endeavor, Islam had been the most durable cultural phenomenon to influence the lands. The historical ties of Kazakhstan with the Islamic world and remnants of Muslim identification among the Kazakh public are leaving an imprint on the republic's foreign policy. Before looking more closely at the influence of Islam in the areas of politics mentioned, a review of the historical process of Islamicization and its present influence on society is in order. Yet the activities of the spiritual board are clearly still sanctioned from some extent, though how the actual lines of command work in post-Soviet Kazakhstan today is a difficult question to answer.